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Pro bono attorneys winning costs from opposing party (either pro se or represented)

New York, NY |

If a pro bono attorney wins fees from an opposing party (who is usually unaware that the attorney is acting pro bono), isn't that the same as the pro bono attorney working on a no-win no-fee basis? Doesn't that undermine the fundamental premise of working pro bono?

Neither response seems to answer the question. An attorney can do pro-bono work for a client but get paid by the opposing party if the attorney wins. Sounds like the attorney has a vested interest in representing people Pro Bono in order to extract fees out of someone else. If they are truly pro bono, they would waive fees. But then who would do "Pro Bono" work, right?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

No. Pro Bono means the lawyer isn't charging the client. If the court awards the lawyer costs or legal fees that doesn't change anything and the client certainly isn't entitled to that money.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Posted

No. Just means lawyer didn't charge the client. The court is free to award atty fees. (FYI, I am not a NY atty).

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Posted

The attorney is permitted to seek fees from the opposing party without charging his or her own client.

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